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Updated: April 16, 2014 18:53 IST

I am… P. Murali Raj - Tailor

As told to T. Saravanan
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Tailor P. Murali Raj makes jeans for both men and women and for all age groups. Photo: T. Saravanan
The Hindu Tailor P. Murali Raj makes jeans for both men and women and for all age groups. Photo: T. Saravanan

At a time when people thought jeans could only be bought readymade, I had different ideas. I sourced cotton and denim from Mumbai and Coimbatore and tailored them according to my customers’ tastes. Readymades do not always fit all people. Some need alteration. But when customers come to me I have the cloth and I can tailor the trousers to their exact measurement.

My father V. Periasamy set up this exclusive outlet three decades ago, when he came here from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). My brother P. Ravichandran and I manage the shop today. I regularly update myself to combat stiff competition from bigger players. I study the market every fortnight. Now, I tailor popular designs such as pencil fit, boot cut as well as denim shirts. Generally readymade jeans have round cut pockets which some customers find awkward. So I introduced cross pockets and they instantly became a big hit. It encouraged me to experiment further and now I also tailor cargo-style pants.

I make jeans for both men and women and for all age groups. I start my day by nine in the morning and wind up at 9.30 in the night. On Sundays I work till 2 p.m. During festivals I have a flexible schedule. I charge Rs.650 for a pair of trousers. Initially, we found it difficult to convince people to come to us as they were after branded jeans. But today, I tailor anything between 30 to 40 jeans every day.

(A fortnightly column on men and women who make Madurai what it is)

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